Second Half Woes Lead to Loss to Wartburg
NEW ULM, Minn. - The men's basketball team got off to a very strong start and took a three-point lead into halftime before a tough start to the second half led to a 79-65 loss to Wartburg Tuesday night.
The Knights shot 57.1 percent from the field during an up-and-down first half in which both teams shot over 50 percent from the floor. MLC also shot 5-12 from behind the arc, helping them to a 39-36 lead at the break.
Greg Holzhueter (Mankato, Minn./MVL) paced MLC with 11 points in the half, while Jake Unke (New Ulm, Minn./MVL)and Justin Eternick (Waterloo, Wis./Lakeside)combined to shoot 6-7 from the floor off the bench for 15 big points.
Wartburg was able to stay in the game because of the play of Kelly McCarville down low, as he scored 16 points on just ten shots in ten minutes in the half because of foul trouble. For the game, McCarville finished with 27 points on 13-18 shooting.
The second half was the opposite of the first for the Knights, who started the second stanza making just three of their first 20 shot attempts, while Wartburg continued to pour in the points.
After MLC took a 43-41 lead at the 17:20 mark, Wartburg went on a 13-0 run over the next four minutes and forty seconds to give themselves an 11-point cushion. Three-point sharpshooter Mitch Eslick did much of the damage in the second, scoring 24 of his game-high 29 points on just six shots from the field. He went 4-5 from downtown in the second half, and also went 10-12 from the free throw line. For the half, Wartburg shot 20 free throws (and made 14 of them) after shooting two in the first half.
Holzhueter finished with a team-high 16 points and added six rebounds and four steals, while Unke finished with 12 points. Nathan Bauer (Lake Mills, Wis./Lakeside) finished with a game-high six assists and two steals.
With the loss, MLC dropped to 1-2 on the season, while Wartburg improved to 3-2 with the win.
MLC will return to the court on Friday, December 4, when they travel to Presentation for a 7:30 tip that will immediately follow the women's game.[BOX SCORE]